Marvel's Iron Fist: Season 1
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Marvel's Iron Fist: Season 1

For many decades there’s been an intense rivalry between the two major comic book publishers, Marvel and DC. Most of the best-known Golden Age superheroes created by DC and included the iconic ‘Superman’ and ‘Batman.' Meanwhile, in the Marvel camp super powered entities as ‘The Fantastic Four,' Spiderman’ ’and ‘Captain America.' In recent years the comic books of our youth have become the hottest properties in cinematic history. When we were kids, our parents and teachers were adamantly against comic books convinced that David Brunel mourns and ultimately society. At this point in history, this statement may seem like hyperbole, but the adult war against comics went so far as to initiate Senate investigation committees and the creation of an official seal denoting acceptable content. In recent years movies derived from comic books have become the most lucrative properties owned by the movie studios. That only do they generate billions of dollars in income but many of them I hailed as an extended the greatest films of their generation. It was only natural for the studios to want to extend this success into their television divisions. These he did so by creating a franchise on the CW network creating their little universe running parallel to the cinematic counterparts. On the other hand, Marvel made a few attempts that creating shows on traditional broadcast networks but manage their greatest success by setting up a multi-character franchise on the immensely popular streaming video service, Netflix. Featuring characters such as ‘Daredevil,' ‘Jessica Jones’ and ‘Nick Cage,' viewership and critical acclaim continued to increase. Unlike the formula followed by DC, the Netflix superheroes exist in the same universe as the Model Cinematic Universe, MCU. The connection between the two is not to crossover appearances but rather thoughtfully executed nuances0 typically by referencing major events in the movies. They are building up for a superhero team, ‘The Defenders’, the latest superhero to have his series completing the roster, ‘Iron Fist,' a.k.a. Danny Rand. Unlike the other series, this one panned by the critics, receiving dismal aggregate scores on the major review sites. I have come to the conclusion that this is a biased and unfair appraisal of the series. I support my opinion decades of experience as a fan of science fiction, fantasy, and comic books.

The series begins as the introduced to a young man unkempt curly blonde hair dresses and costumes for a ‘Hair’ revival including his obvious avoidance of shoes. Making his way along the streets of Midtown Manhattan comes to the skyscraper housing the headquarters of the ‘RAND Corporation,' a multibillion-dollar corporate entity. The ominous looking young man enters the building heading towards the elevators only to set upon by the security officers. The approach young their batons ready for action only to have the energy of their attacks redirected against them. Within a minute or two has the entire security contingent locked outside the building just as the elevator doors open. It turns out that the young man is Danny Rand (Finn Jones), was presumed dead as a result of a plane crash accompanied by his mother and father. 15 years before the private plane containing the Rand family crashed in the Himalayan Mountains. His mother was sucked into the air as the cabin ripped apart while Danny and his father crashed into the side of the mountain. Danny barely survived and would’ve died of exposure if not for being discovered by a group of cloistered monks. Over the course of the first few episodes, the back story carefully pieced together. Danny rescued by Shaolin monks who accepted him as an apprentice instructing him on the ancient art of Kung Fu. Through dedication and hard work, Danny did well, but the training is quickly advancing through the ranks of the monk's order.

During the 15 years, Danny was in the Himalayas life continued back in New York. The company built up by Danny’s father was taken over by his partner and cofounder, Harold Meachum (David Wenham). After a few years believe that Howell died in an accident with his two children, Ward (Tom Pelphrey) and Joy (Jessica Stroup) assumed leadership of the company as soon as they reach the majority. The two of them grew up with Danny having been very close to children. During their youth, Ward was always bullying Danny and always assumed that someday Joy and Danny would be married joining the two families. Although the plane crash happened before romance could be started in earnest, Joy, and Daniel always close friends. Danny tries to get to the executive offices to reconnect with his childhood friends, but since he has been presumed dead for so many years, they dismiss them as being an insane person or a con man working to make a quick score. Initially, Danny is sent to a mental institution does manage to convince the head psychiatrist that he is a real Danny Rand but no one else believes him. Joy devises a test that only Danny could pass; she sends him a bag of M&Ms. He returns the bed with all the brown M&Ms, a peculiarity he had as a kid known only by the two of them. Danny is not the only one who returns after being presumed dead. Harold Meachum had faked his death and was living in isolation in a penthouse apartment in the building owned by the Corporation. Protected by biometric security measures the only one with access to him is Ward. How old still very much in charge of the company having his orders carried out by Ward. Hell still treats Ward as a little boy, constantly holding him.

An ancient warrior clan saved Harold's life, ‘The Hand.' Those who are already fans of the Marvel Netflix franchise be familiar with this deadly zealots determined to ensure the realization of an ancient prophecy. In the previous series, ‘Daredevil’ was the only one who could stand against them, just barely. Also joining in the fight is one of the most influential Chinese tongs, the Hatchet Men triad. Hoping to strengthen the connection to the other members of the franchise several organized crime syndicates from Russia and China reappear after being introduced in Daredevil. Danny’s identity is finally confirmed reputedly thanks to the help of the ultra-expensive been highly accessible attorney Jeri Hogarth (Carrie-Anne Moss). This character is one of the pivot points connecting all of the series. Introduced in ‘Jessica Jones’ and Showcased in ‘Daredevil,' Ms. Hogarth secures Danny’s places majority shareholder in the company with 51% of the shares. This places him in charge of a multibillion-dollar organization giving them access to almost unlimited funds. That has made a friend in Chinatown a young woman named, Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick), owner and sensei of a small, struggling Dojo. At first, he dismisses Danny as a homeless person but after watching him fight off a security squad sent to neutralize him she realizes that he has martial arts training far beyond anything you could imagine. Danny takes his place in the management of the Rand Corporation; Ward is upset because Danny cares about people in ruins a multimillion dollar pharmaceutical deal by having the medication distributed a cost. One thing that works very well in this series that is unfortunately dismissed by many of its critics is the multitier structure of the antagonist. Representing martial arts and mysticism are the Hand while the triad controls the drug trade. Greed incorporate indifference to human life and safety focuses on Ward’s determination to maximize profit at any cost.

Typical of all the Netflix series the characters painted with a fine brush including numerous details that humanizes them. For example, Colleen has dedicated herself to the peaceful use of martial arts but is for spite mounting debts to fight for money at an underground fight club. Even when Danny offers to assume all the obligations, Colleen continues to fight discovering that she enjoys submitting to the simple blood estate the combat induces. Danny is highly spiritual and can focus his Chi into his hand, visualized by a yellow glow. When he achieves, this is visitor becomes stronger than iron, able to punch through the most material and impervious to any blade. The training he received at the monastery was chuckling one ancient purpose, to create a living weapon that could vanquish the Hand.

The reason why so many people have expressed such a negative opinion of the series is predominantly due to the pacing. While there are action scenes in every episode, major battles postponed to the last few episodes of the series. This is a complicated story with a multitude of storylines each driven by specific character arcs. This requires time to establish and set in motion. Iron Fist is less known then the other mobile heroes in the Netflix universe. Daredevil has been a central hero for decades with Medicaid and Jessica Jones on the popular characters for many years. Long ago Nicholas Coppola decided to change his last name to separate himself from his famous family. As a fan of comic books, he chose Nicholas Cage one of his favorite Marvel characters, Nick Cage. The main characters are holding together every part of this franchise ia a young woman known as the Night Nurse’, Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson). Claire fired from her hospital job for disobeying a wrongful order; Claire found the soap free to follow her true destiny, provide medical help to the growing number of super powered vigilantes working to save New York City. Claire resourceful and fearless, constantly putting herself in danger to help ‘special’ friends.

The unfairly low aggregate rating for the series is indicative of something I have noticed that is prevalent with the current generation. Huge blockbuster films special-effects coarsening in the hundreds of thousands of dollars as a precondition the audience to expect a rapid paced, unending stream of violence and action. What appears to have lost too many viewers is the ability to exhibit a degree of patience necessary or more complex than usual degree of exposition. A story like this is dependent upon establishing a firm foundation of multiple, entwined threads. The producers did throw in at least one action scene in each episode as part of developing the skill set of the hero and just how dangerous his adversaries are in combat. It requires a greater attention span and the ability to devote the time and mental resources necessary to mentally assimilate all the requisite pieces requested by the story. Unfortunately, this seems to be a growing trend both television series and movies exacerbated by the sizable number of audience members on rolling to apply the necessary mental facilities and attention span to enjoy this series thoroughly. At least it does seem to be considerable anticipation for the upcoming superhero, ‘The Defenders’, which is set to premier very shortly.

04/18/2017

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